BIOMECHANICS OF LAW
A performance art Meyerhold-inspired adaptation of the 1938 American communist play Injunction Granted by the Living Newspaper. Presented at RawArt Gallery, July 7, 2018.
The performance was commissioned to accompany Noam Toran's exhibition "A Shining Meteor will Light the Path of the Worker,” presented in “RawArt” gallery in south Tel Aviv. The exhibition took an under-acknowledged historical occurrence – the rail workers’ strikes of the mid 1930s in Haifa and the activity of joint Arab-Jewish worker’s unions in Palestine of the period. Following extensive joint research of communist plays – American, Russian and Israeli – this performance staged the court scenes from Injunction Granted, exploring workers' rights and the immense difficulties of the fight against political power mechanisms.
During the performance, the actors created a performative production line of sharpening pencils, with which verdicts depriving workers of their rights were written. This absurdist image sought to examine the biomechanics of the various figures in the legal process – the judge, the prosecutor, and the defendant. The performance emphasized the relationship between body and machine, between acting and work, between the observer and the judge, and between the theatrical stage and the court.
The location of the gallery space, adjacent to the Tel Aviv Labor Court, invited a thought-provoking view on the happenings of present time. To intensify the interdisciplinary investigation, a an integrative tour to both the Labor Court and the exhibition took place, reflecting upon the court as an artistic-performative space and the gallery as a critical-judicial space.
Adaptation and Direction: Kfir Lapid-Mishal
Dramaturgy: Yuval Zehavi
Actors-creators: Shira Hassid and Arnon Rosenthal
Video, edited by Yuval Zehavi: